Mathematics Circles

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Mathematics circles are professional development communities of 15-20 mathematics teachers and professors who meet regularly to work on multiple solution connecting tasks problems. According to the organization, being an active participant in a circle provides a powerful way to bridge a traditional educational divide as well as an opportunity for teachers to enrich their own experience of mathematics and for professors to share their enjoyment of mathematics while learning more about K-12 education. One way they claim to be bridging the gap is by encouraging teachers as mathematicians, and by connecting mathematics professors with K-12 education (See the Math Teachers’ Circle web site http://www.mathteacherscircle.org/ )
On the other hand,
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Students that are interested persist longer at learning tasks, spend more time studying, read more deeply, remember more of what they read, and get better grades, but what might be these students’ perceptions regarding what they find interesting? (2006). Silvia also mentions how many experiments find an inverted quadratic relation between novelty variables and interest, suggesting that at least one other variable is interacting with novelty to predict interest. Although many areas of psychology explore the causes and consequences of interest, they struggle with problems that appraisal theories handle well, such as inter- and intra-individual differences in emotional responses to similar events. Appraisal theories of emotions provide a powerful framework for understanding the causes and consequences of interest. Many researchers appraise complexity and coping potential, the broadly estimate of resources, power, abilities, and control in relation to an event, as the most likely other variables, besides novelty, to be the basis of interest; however, he suggests that novelty and complexity could be used interchangeably using conflict or uncertainty to cover them both. (2005)
The preceding renaissance in the psychology of interest should ignite a movement so that professionals in various fields put their knowledge of human interest to good use. Silvia asks the following question to educators specifically: “If we know how interest enhances learning, how can we teach better classes, write better books and be better mentors?”

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